Family: Woman apologized for burning beau's groin with gas
Published: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 3:23 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 3:23 p.m.
OCALA – A man whose girlfriend poured gasoline on his genitals and set him on fire is expected to undergo surgery Wednesday, according to family members.
Andrew Williams, 42, is recovering from burns to his torso at Shands at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
His sister, Alice Williams, told the Star-Banner by phone Tuesday that his doctors had hoped he could have surgery Monday but surgeons were not able to work him into their schedule until Wednesday.
She said he is “doing fine, has no infection and is eating.”
Alice Williams and her mother, Helen Colding, both said they did not know why Victoria Bynes, 29, set their loved one on fire.
They said the two had been a couple for nine years.
Bynes was arrested Saturday and charged with aggravated battery. She bonded out of jail on Sunday. She could not be reached for comment.
According to officials and family members, here is what took place:
On Saturday afternoon, sheriff's deputies were called to the 2400 block of Northeast 167th Place in Citra. Deputy Robert Youmans Jr. arrived and found Andrew Williams kneeling in the yard, covered with a blanket. The deputy noted in his report that he smelled gasoline on Williams and that he had second and third degree burns on his genital area and torso.
Williams was unable to talk with the deputy because he was in pain.
A man at the scene told the deputy an altercation had ensued between Bynes and Williams and that she threw liquid on him and lit it on fire.
Bynes, 29, was later located and told Youmans she and Williams were talking in her car and began arguing. She said she picked up a plastic bottle of gasoline and at the same time was flicking a lighter on and off.
While struggling over the bottle, Bynes said, gas spilled on Williams and the lighter dropped in his lap, which erupted in fire. She said he got out of the vehicle and ran to the opposite side, where he fell and began rolling on the ground.
Bynes told officials she didn't think his injuries were severe, so she drove away.
Alice Williams said she suspects Bynes was angry or jealous. She said their relationship was never violent until the last few years, when Bynes scratched and damaged items belonging to her brother.
“We told him several times to leave her alone,” Williams said.
Colding told the Star-Banner that her son and Bynes do not have any children and that Bynes has treated her “good” during their relationship. She said she was at home when Bynes came there and asked to speak to her son. After being told he was not there, she said Bynes told her that he had “some explaining to do.” She said Bynes left, saying she was going to “do her niece's hair.”
“I don't know what she meant,” Colding said.
Colding said her son had been working with another man all week to earn money to help pay her phone bill. She said because he would work late into the night, he had been staying at the man's home.
Colding said Bynes has called and apologized.
“She said she was sorry,” said Colding, adding that she has forgiven Bynes.
Asked if they will remain friends, mother and daughter both said no, not right now.
“I can't be around her now. She hurt my whole family,” Colding said.
Contact Austin L. Miller at 867-4118 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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